THE borderland of Alsace is a country of contradictions. We find a people whose customs and manners, speech and costume, attest their German origin, and who are, for the present, at least, under German rule; yet they call themselves French, and look longingly for the time when they shall be restored to the nation which they claim as their own.

The Alsatians have long been noted for many curious customs, some of them of French, but more of German, origin; and not the least peculiar of these is the one selected for illustration.

Clad in the picturesque, if not very handsome, costume of the province, on Sunday morning the old men and matrons, young men and maidens, and joyous, laughing groups of children may be seen traversing the highway toward the parish church, which is usually so located as to accommodate the inhabitants of several neighboring hamlets. As they pass along, they chant in unison the familiar hymns of the church, and the effect, as their voices rise on the still air, is singularly pleasing to the tourist or traveler who chances to meet the little party of worshipers. The walk home is frequently beguiled in the same manner; and the custom is surely a charming one and worthy of imitation elsewhere.